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The other is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isaac is saved by the merciful interposition of God himself in the very last moment of his danger, but Jesus dies ; dies a lingering, painful, ignominious death upon the cross, when he had cried out, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.” And how shall we become interested in that great work of redeeming love, and partake in his mercy and grace, but by this very faith in him of which we have been speaking? Oh! let our faith be firmly fixed on the doctrine of his atonement, for it is the religion of the whole bible, typified by the Old Testament, and distinctly preached by the New. If we believe not in Christ we shall die in our sins, and perish eternally; but if we believe, we shall be justified by faith, and have peace with God. As Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness, so “ the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ,” shall be “unto all and upon all them that believe."
May God the Holy Ghost, beloved Brethren, be with you in the out-pouring of his grace upon your souls, as you hear these expository sermons. May he bring you by that grace into a living union with Christ, through faith, and enable you by the same grace to abide in him. And in consequence of such constant union with Christ, the living root of all goodness, may you bring forth much fruit in all the works of faith and labours of love. By these may it be manifest that you are indeed true and real believers in him. And by these may God be glorified, your fellow-creatures benefitted, your christian brethren comforted, and gainsayers silenced.
THE MARRIAGE OF ISAAC.
GENESIS xxiv. 37, 38.
My master made me swear, saying, thou shalt
not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell : but thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my
As the sacred history proceeds we see more and more of the simple manners of those ancient times, but we see also, what is far better, the deep regard which Abraham had to the word and promise of God in all his transactions : he carries the great principle of faith into all his domestic arrangements, and has a single eye intent upon one object, in whatever he has to do.
In the preceding chapter you will find him
engaged about the burial of his wife. Sarah had died at the age of a hundred and twenty seven years, much honoured and lamented by Abraham. Yet he thinks not of carrying her remains to the country of their forefathers, but
prepares to inter them in Canaan. He knew that that land was to be his from the oft-repeated promise of God, and therefore determined that himself and the members of his family should live and die and be buried in it. As yet “ he had none inheritance in it, no not so much as to set his foot on :" and is remarkable that his first possession in should be but a tomb. This he purchased from Ephron the Hittite, to whom the field belonged, and faithfully paid down its price, even though the owner had liberally offered to give it; for Abraham knew that the promise of God him no present right to any part of the land, and that he must wait for the time in which the Lord would confirm it to be his. Though willing therefore to “ sojourn in the land of promise, as in a strange country,” yet he would net quit it, and on the death of Sarah prepared to procure in it a place of
interment for his family, in full faith that the promise would be accomplished, and that the whole land should, in due time, be in the possession of his seed.
We find the same principle prevailing in another important family arrangement, namely, the marriage of his son Isaac, as recorded in the chapter now before us. In this affair two things, I think, are principally to be noticed, although there are other incidental circumstances in the history of much interest and instruction. The first is, the great anxiety of Abraham that his son might not take a wife from among the Canaanites. The other, that even if he should marry a person of Abraham's family, as was the patriarch's desire, he might not be induced by her or her relatives, to return and settle again in the land from which he had come out. We will consider these two points in order.
I. First, the great anxiety of Abraham that his son might not take a wife from among the Canaanites.
Abraham committed this affair to a prudent and pious person, who stood next to